Monday, 10 November 2008

How to spot a Credit Crunch Boyfriend (CCB)

To begin at the beginning - as is logical - what is a Credit Crunch Boyfriend (CCB)?

Definition: more often than not, works (or worked) in hedge funds, finance more generally, or, in extreme cases - property.

Other uses: to be CCB'd - then boyfriend gets made redundant (via said credit crunch) and hence becomes a CCB, spouse/partner categorically becomes a Credit Crunch Girlfriend (CCG).

How to spot a CCB:
  • Cristal to Prosecco - said gentleman starts scaling down at the bar. At first, it's gentle - gradually groping self up the wine list. Thinks he's being subtle by staying fizzy. Feeling the pinch on Prosecco? Things are about to get much much worse come end of redundancy pay. So be thankful. A pint of bitter could be in your delicate hands before you know it. Spot any of above signs and you know for sure you are, or are a soon to be, a CCG.
  • Dunhill or Golden Virginia - rolling paraphenalia emerges from said male's smartly tailored jacket - rizlas, tobacco, filter tips, the works. Never seen dead with said items before. In extreme cases - said woman starts rolling them on CCB's behalf.
    NB: finding a rolling machine (ouch) is as bad as discovering infidelity, if not worse. Sure sign of sheer incompetence. If at the beginning of a relationship, even worse as could relate to many, as yet, undiscovered flaws and/or inadequacies. Solution: find it endearing/end relationship.
  • Culture - finding oneself uncharacteristically partaking in theatrical pursuits, art exhibitions or readings could be at first pleasant but certainly less testing on the wallet than a night out. Not a sure sign of a looming CCB scenario, but paired with above two and you could be on to something.
  • Classified - said woman, idly paging through Tatler's classified ads, finds self to her supreme horror - for sale. Yes that's right, CCBs finances have got so bad, he placed CCG on the market - literally. His entreupeneutial instincts know no bounds and are not to be underestimated. Admittedly, this is worst case scenario, but when British insitution is falling apart at the seams crazier things have happened. Forget not, when Per Una cannot save Marks and Spencer, you heard it first from Sweedy Darling.

'Flobaming': can the US election results enhance your love life?

So the success of 'smirting' (smoking and flirting) post smoking ban has been proven by the subsequent rise of unplanned pregnancies in Ireland. Now it's time for something far healthier, sexier and fundamentally more political to get the talk flowing between would be couples.

Make way for 'floblaming': flirting through talking about America's President-elect Barack Obama (potential uses: 'to flobam', 'flobammed', 'a flob' - a failed flobaming attempt).

That's right. Shove Bush, race and "change has come" aside. Obama is a godsend for sexing up US politics.

Since Tuesday's US election, tubes, buses and trains have been abuzz with Obama related chat between types that wouldn't otherwise meet eyes, let alone political views.

Only hours after the election results a guy tried to chat me up on the tube between Tooting and London Bridge over the empty chair between us holding an open double-page spread of Obama in the London Paper. Not the ideal setting for a romance. But. Amidst abstract thoughts and skim reading the ten thousandth report of US election coverage I had read that day, a voice said: "Would you vote for him if you were American?" Unused to political conversation being struck up on the tube I choked, stuttered then blurted out a "Of course, wouldn't you?" The preceding discussion blurred his forgettable looks, but unfortunately his election chat wasn't up to scratch.

But during the next few days, you couldn't go anywhere without overhearing flobaming to varying degrees of success. It was everywhere. The most extreme example of the new phenomenon I heard was last Wednesday. A young gentleman in a trilby with a guitar on the train from London Bridge to New Cross approached - cold - an American woman and said "So, what's all this election stuff about then?" No research or pretence of what so ever. This election has gone against the grain for Brits who - when sober - rarely seem to bite the proverbial bullet and speak to strangers. Ever. Except occasionally to complain. But more effective and less awkward over the phone.

Here to stay?

Not looking good. Unlike smirting, whose versatility spans the outdoor areas of bars, stations, clubs, libraries and shops, this endearing trend has a) a short shelf-life (interest likely to fade as soon as.. er.. another black president comes along..) and b) it's unique to Obama. "Fancy telling me what you thought about Glenrothes over dinner?" I think not.